Proteas

Proteas determined to preserve proud record

Faf du Plessis (Getty Images)
Faf du Plessis (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Preserving a strong away record will be a motivating factor for the Proteas in the fourth Test match against England starting at Old Trafford on Friday.

The Proteas have only lost one away series - against in India in 2015 - since 2006, a phenomenal record they will be looking to extend. 
 
Defeat will also end a brilliant run of four consecutive series wins this season, a clean sheet highlighted by wins against New Zealand (home and away), Australia and Sri Lanka. Although a win was the first prize, Faf du Plessis admits a drawn series will be equally valued given England’s strength in their home conditions. 
 
“Coming to England and drawing a series is not a negative,” Du Plessis explained to the media in Manchester on Thursday. “England are a good team at home and to draw a series against them will be important for us. We have a proud record away from home, something I believe is not spoken about enough. Our record away from home over the last eight years is remarkable and as a team we are motivated to keep the away losses to a minimum.”  
 
Old Trafford is a former home ground for Du Plessis, a venue where he spent two years playing for Lancashire County Cricket Club as a Kolpak player. He says his stint at the county gave him the foundation and experience that has moulded him into the international cricketer he is today. 
 
“Yesterday, driving into the ground, it was nice to come back here,” he said. “I’m thankful for my time at Lancashire, I feel it has played a big role in my journey to where I am today. It was good to see the people who work here, they still remember me and I still remember them. I’m motivated to make a good play over the next five days at one of my home grounds. It’s also good to see the weather is the same way I left it, but the drainage here is good.”  
 
Vernon Philander is struggling with a stiff lower back, and will undergo a late fitness test to determine his availability for the match.

The decision on his participation will be made on Friday morning. 
 
“Vernon will have a fitness test today, he has a tight back, but he should be ok,” Du Plessis said. “Vernon at 100 percent fit means a lot of things. It means we can look at playing three seamers with the seven batsmen. Vernon at 90 percent doesn’t allow you to play three seamers because you don’t want to be in a position where if a seamer breaks down you only have two seamers, that would be the end of the Test match.” 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
41% - 11460 votes
Cricket
12% - 3312 votes
Football
19% - 5178 votes
Athletics
3% - 697 votes
Boxing
1% - 271 votes
Cycling
2% - 644 votes
Golf
5% - 1417 votes
Motorsport
8% - 2342 votes
Tennis
3% - 928 votes
Water sports
1% - 248 votes
American sports
1% - 336 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 907 votes
Vote